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Jewett City Savings Bank reports a positive year at 135th Annual Meeting of Corporators

Prudent underwriting serves Bank well

Kevin C. Merchant, president and CEO of Jewett City Savings Bank, reported a year of favorable results to those in attendance at the Jacques Cartier Club in Jewett City for the 135th Annual Meeting of Corporators.

“Because of our high underwriting standards, Jewett City Savings Bank has never had a sub-prime loan on its books,” Merchant said, referring to the unprecedented mortgage crisis that has left many other lenders reeling. “We were also able to meet the challenges of the beginnings of a shaky economy in 2007,” he added.

“We have a very strong, competent, and experienced management team in place at Jewett City Savings Bank,” he said in reviewing changes in staff responsibilities during the year.

James McDonald assumed responsibility for the oversight of the Deposit Operations and Information Technology areas of the Bank, and also assumed the responsibilities of senior vice president in addition to his responsibilities as chief financial officer and treasurer. Diana Rose, the Bank’s marketing officer, became a vice president during 2007 and is now also serving as senior retail manager, as well as administrator of the Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation.

Merchant updated the Corporators on the general financial condition of the Bank, and reviewed significant events over the past year, including the retirements of long-time President and CEO Reino Horstmeyer and Director Richard Duda. He personally thanked Board Chairman Louis Demicco for the support he provided during the transition.

New Office
The President also reported on the progress of the Bank’s newest office, which opened in Dayville in May 2007, and which was the first branch opened in a new market area in over 30 years. Noting that the branch is competing with four — soon to be five — other financial institutions within close proximity, Merchant nevertheless projected that the energetic Dayville staff would ultimately add to the momentum the branch is gaining slowly but surely.

New Lender
The addition of veteran commercial lender William Andrzeicik to the Jewett City staff was among the most important changes for the Bank this year, said Merchant, as the Bank pursues its plan to enhance both commercial lending and deposit services.

New Incentives
Among the other notable events at the Bank in 2007 were a reengineering of the Bank’s internal employee performance evaluation system, and the implementation of an employee recognition program, explained Merchant. He added that 72% of the employees have been with the Bank for five years or more.

A final program implemented last year was an incentive-based bonus plan for employees. Bonuses will be based on year-end performance results, he said of the program, which is designed to result in a better overall performance of the Bank.

New Awards
Merchant reported that the Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation awarded grants totaling nearly $52,000 in 2007. Funds were provided to help 36 non-profit organizations in the communities served by the Bank.

“Our efforts ‘to give back’ certainly wouldn’t be the same without our commitment to mutuality and the Bank’s constant focus on community and community values,” he added.

Finances in Detail
Following Merchant’s remarks, James McDonald, senior vice president and CFO, went on to review in detail the Bank’s 2007 balance sheet and income statement with Corporators and guests.

Copies of the Bank’s 2007 Annual Report and financial statements are available at all branch locations, or by calling (860) 376-4444.